Daniel lives with his grandmother in the countryside of France. After his first year of high school, Daniel's absentee mother comes back into his life, taking him to live in the south of France. While Daniel is just a boy anxious to finish school, his mother is against the idea because she cannot afford it. Thus Daniel is sent to work as an apprentice in a moped repair shop where her is forced to learn about girls, work, and adulthood far too fast for his age. Jean Eustache's My LIttle Loves is truly remarkable film about adolescence, capturing the curiosity and innocence of youth and how easily it can be stripped away by the realities of the world we live in. While I didn't know it upon viewing My LIttle Loves, this is a semi- biographical account of Eustache's youth and it shows, feeling incredibly genuine in a way which I've never seen before. My Little Loves is a film about the little moments that make up our childhood and how even some which seem so trivial can shape the person we grow to become. Daniel goes from a home in which he is nurtured and able to live like a child to the harsh reality of living with his mother where he has to work and learn almost everything on his own. The film at times almost feels like a series of vignettes, with each scene feeling like a distinct memory that stands on its own, even though the film has a definitive narrative structure. Each of these moments show are character-driven and important, capturing the molding of a young man. The film can be unsettling at times, as we witness things which no young boy should have to experience without the proper adult figure, yet Eustache never overly dramatizes any of these situations, letting us simply view them through the point of view of young Daniel, a boy that doesn't necessarily know better. The ending of the film perfectly wraps up Daniel's journey, when he returns to visit his grandmother a year later and discovers he has grown up faster than any of his old friends. Jean Eustache's My LIttle Loves is a deeply personal reflection on childhood and one of very best films ever made about the bridge between adolescence and adulthood.
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